Postgraduate study
This course is designed to develop technically competent and creative brewers by providing substantial hands-on experience of practical brewing, using our state of the art pilot facilities.
 
  
Qualification
MSc Brewing Science and Practice
Duration
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) in biological, chemical, or biochemical engineering or another relevant science subject
IELTS
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September
UK/EU fees
£7,785 - Terms apply
International fees
£24,030 - Terms apply
Campus
Sutton Bonington Campus
School/department
 

 

Overview

This one-year full-time masters course prepares graduate level scientists for a career in Brewing, or its allied industries. The programme will develop technically competent and creative brewers by providing substantial hands-on experience of practical brewing, using our state of the art pilot facilities.

Practical knowledge will be supported with technical know-how to ensure that our graduates understand the scientific principles which underpin the brewing process and are able to innovate, problem solve, and conduct scientifically robust experiments. The courses are taught by staff from the School of Biosciences with expertise in brewing and related sciences, together with invited contributions from specialist brewing practitioners; all are internationally renowned leaders within their field.

The programme ends with an innovative problem-solving brewing project which is specifically designed to permit the skills acquired during the modules to be practised and assessed.

You will develop skills enabling you to:

  • formulate recipes and brew a variety of beer styles
  • brew quality beers by understanding how process conditions control the scientific principles which underpin brewing
  • understand quality in a production context and to troubleshoot when issues or problems arise.

Our postgraduate courses were developed with the support of the EPSRC and the BBRSC Modular Training for Industry Scheme.

We also offer brewing courses developed specifically  for part-time study, based around your work – please see MSc Brewing Science.

Key facts

  • The UK Midlands region has strong historic links to brewing and our campus is situated just a short drive away from the famous brewing centre of Burton-upon-Trent
  • MSc Brewing Science and Practice is a one-year campus-based programme; it combines the best aspects of face-to-face teaching, practical skills development and regular seminars, with the established excellence of the University in delivering innovative and effective e-learning
  • The School of Biosciences is one of the largest and strongest schools of its kind in the UK
  • The school is ranked the no. 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science in the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality
  • A purpose-built dedicated Brewing and Bioenergy Building opened on campus in 2011
  • The Sutton Bonington Campus offers a number of dedicated facilities applicable to this course including the ABInBev 10 hL research brewery, 40 L nanobrewery and 20 L brewing equipment
 

Full course details

The course consists of 120 credits of taught modules, followed by a 60-credit brewing research project in which you will use skills and knowledge gained during the taught modules to devise and undertake an innovative piece of research. Typically, projects will be conducted in partnership with the industry and provide opportunities for work experience.

The core of the course (30 credits) is delivered in the modules Fundamentals of Brewing and Practical Brewing, which will be delivered face-to-face as lectures, seminars and practical classes throughout the year. The programme starts with an introduction to the brewing process, its historical development and the range of beer styles which together comprise the modern beer market.

These modules then teach the practical, technical and engineering know-how required of a professional brewer in the modern industry. Numbers on our programme are capped at 15 each year because of the need to ensure sufficient access to brewing equipment in order to develop this proficiency.

Other modules are studied via a combination of e-learning materials and intensive short courses which are held in January and May of each year. 

The e-learning components comprise:

  • e-lectures in which PowerPoint slides, video/audio of lecturer and transcript of lecture will be presented;
  • structured learning through a combination of virtual directed reading, self-tests of understanding, animations and video footage of processes and a virtual library;
  • group work and directed discussion events
  • coursework.

The intensive short courses comprise:

  • lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals and industrial visits;
  • group work, seminars, and discussion events.

Regular seminars will be hosted throughout the year by academic staff to give students the opportunity to check their understanding of e-learning materials and to re-enforce key points.

Course venue

The course is based on the Sutton Bonington Campus, a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham. Sutton Bonington is an easy bus or car journey to University Park Campus and on to Nottingham city, with a free bus service between campuses. Two other cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7km away, plus there are fast rail links close by to London.

 
 

Modules

This one-year full-time course consists of taught modules (120 credits), followed by a brewing research project (60 credits) in which you will use skills and knowledge gained during the taught modules to devise and undertake an innovative piece of research. Typically, projects will be conducted in partnership with the brewing industry and provide opportunities for work experience.

The core of the course is delivered in two modules which are delivered face-to-face as lectures, seminars and practical classes throughout the year:

Fundamentals of Brewing

This module covers the fundamentals of the brewing process, definitions of beers and other associated beverages and brewery design and operation.

  • Historical perspective and the factors which have shaped the modern brewing industry
  • Beer definitions and styles (including RTDs)
  • The brewing process (traditional and modern and to include a description of the various options for process and plant that can be used to perform individual stages in the brewing process)
  • Brewery design and layout including a description of tank design, pipe-work layout, types of pump and valve
  • Brewery operation and planning
  • Engineering aspects of brewing including choice of materials for construction, heat exchange, refrigeration, and gas control
  • Definitions of scientific units used in brewing and the methods used for their measurement
  • CIP and hygiene
  • Environmental considerations
  • The impact of legislation on brewing practices
  • The impact of R&D on modern brewery practice
  • Future trends and career opportunities in brewing and other topics as deemed appropriate
 
Practical Brewing

This module provides students, most of whom will be new to brewing, with the necessary practical skills to enable them to brew beer and will complement the module “Fundamentals of brewing” and be taken as part of the full-time MSc in Brewing Science. It will be largely practically based using the facilities already present in Brewing Science (nano and AB InBev micro-brewery) but also supplemented with appropriate lectures, tutorials and visits to external commercial breweries. The module will culminate in an assessed group exercise the object of which will be the production of a batch of packaged beer of style and recipe chosen by each team. • The effect on wort quality of raw materials and process conditions • Fermentation and yeast handling • Beer finishing and packaging • Influence of raw materials and process conditions on beer analysis and quality • Measurement of in-process and beer analytes. • Tutored beer tasting • Brewing calculations and recipe design • Experimental design and the use of statistics and other topics as deemed appropriate.

 


The programme starts with an introduction to the brewing process, its historical development and the range of beer styles which comprise the modern beer market. You will be taught the practical, technical and engineering know-how required of a professional brewer in the modern industry. Substantial emphasis is placed on the development of practical brewing skills and your ability to brew your own beer to specified style guidelines, using our pilot brewing facilities.

The remaining modules are studied via a combination of e-learning materials and intensive short courses (which are held throughout January and May):
Raw Materials for Brewing
This module provides an understanding of the significance and quality parameters of the key raw ingredients used in brewing and of the underlying science and technology. Links between raw material and product quality factors will be considered. The module forms a part of the ‘brewing process’ component of the MSc in Brewing Science and forms a core knowledge base for students studying the cross-disciplinary parts of the course in subsequent years. The collaborative group project will develop teamworking, communication and ultimately presentation skills at the assessment event.
 
Brewhouse Processes
Develop an understanding of the science underpinning the processes utilised in the production of wort from raw materials. To consider the key constituents of wort which impact upon beer quality and the influential processing parameters involved. The module forms a part of the ‘brewing process’ component of the MSc in Brewing Science and links directly into the raw materials, fermentation and flavour development modules whilst also forming a core knowledge base for students studying the cross-disciplinary parts of the course in subsequent years.
 
Brewery Yeast Management
This module considers brewing yeast management in relation to brewery fermentations. Students are introduced to scientific principles and their relevance to industrial practices:
  • Brewing taxonomy
  • Brewing yeast cell biology
  • Brewing yeast genetics
  • Brewing yeast biochemistry
  • Brewing yeast replication and growth
  • Yeast culture maintenance and supply
  • Methods of analysis (genetic, biochemical and physiological)
  • Brewing yeast propagation and pitching
 
Fermentation and Yeast Handling

This module considers brewing fermentations and the importance of yeast within the process. Students are introduced to scientific principles and their relevance to industrial practices:

  • Brewing yeast biochemistry
  • Brewing yeast propagation and pitching
  • Fermentation (biochemistry, technologies and process control)
  • Brewing yeast flocculation and sedimentation
  • Brewing yeast crop recovery, storage, acid washing and recycling
  • Recovery and disposal of spent yeast
  • Other topics related to malting as deemed appropriate.
 
Beer Maturation and Filtration

This module considers biological and chemical processes that contribute to the maturation of beer once fermentation is complete. Students are introduced to scientific principles and relevance to industrial practice of 

  • Maturation: flavour and aroma changes. Techniques to achieve product specification
  • Formation of non-biological hazes and stabilisation against non-biological haze
  • Carbonation: carbon dioxide addition, saturation and recovery
  • Clarification and filtration. Removal of yeast and beer recovery, beer filtration
  • Specialised beer treatments: low-alcohol, alcohol-free, ice beers, diet beers, bottle conditioning
 
Packaging of Beer

This module covers the essential elements of packaging beers and other related alcoholic beverages. The module includes theoretical and legal aspects of packaging together with consideration of the design and operation of modern high speed packaging lines. Specific units are:

  • Design and operation of bright beer tanks
  • Assuring the microbiological stability of packaged beer using aseptic filtration, flash pasteurization and tunnel pasteurization. 
  • Achieving specifications of packaged beers including legal aspects of packaging and labeling. 
  • Packaging beers into large-pack and small-pack containers, secondary and tertiary packaging. 
  • The design and operation of modern high-speed packaging lines suitable for beers and other related alcoholic beverages.
  • Beer dispense and cellar management
 
Brewing Microbiology

This module considers the occurrence, frequency and biology of non-brewing microorganisms that are associated with spoilage during the brewing process or the final product. The impact of microorganisms on process and beer will also be considered. Students are introduced to:

  • Spoilage microorganisms associated with the brewing process and final beer product
  • Sampling, detection and identification of brewery microorganisms
  • Disinfection of brewery yeast
  • Cleaning- in – place (CIP) operations
  • The principles and practice of brewery hygiene
  • HACCP
 
Beer Analysis and Quality Management

Development of the key chemical & physical properties of beer which determine its’ quality & the analytical techniques which are used to measure them. When & where in the process should measurements be taken using a Brewery Analysis Plan and how are these measurements integrated into the necessary Brewery Quality Systems?

Covering:

  • Basic principles of instrumental analysis
  • Separation science
  • Standard methods of beer analysis 
  • Experimental design & data analysis
  • Definitions of beer quality
  • Brewery Quality Systems
 

You will study these modules alongside students on our world-renowned MSc Brewing Science, which provides continuing professional development for brewers already employed in the industry. This part of the course firstly follows the stages of brewing production from raw materials to beer in pack, providing in-depth technical knowledge underpinning each step. Subsequently you will focus on beer quality, specification and the necessary standards and in-process checks required to manufacture beers that are ‘right first time’.

Brewing Research Project

The Brewing research project will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and experience gained throughout the course. It aims to give you ownership of your particular piece of research to be fully involved in the skills of designing, conducting, evaluating and reporting/ communicating a piece of time-limited academic research. It is desirable (but not essential) that the project should lead to knowledge which is of value to the company hosting the research project. An emphasis will be placed upon the selection of appropriate experimental design strategies with which to test a particular hypothesis, and upon choice of the correct statistical methods of analysis. It will also support the you in developing the necessary skills for writing research papers (synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources and evaluating them in the light of one’s own research).

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.

 
 

Fees and funding

UK/EU students

General information on funding for both research and taught degrees, applicable to UK/HEU students is available at this page.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers and professional development

This course is primarily aimed at science graduates who wish to pursue a career in the brewing and allied industries.

Our graduates would typically follow a career in:

  • process, production and technical governance
  • hypothesis-led problem solving and innovation in brewing
  • future middle to senior brewery management
  • the craft brewing sector

You will also be ideally placed to continue your research to PhD level, for example, and to pursue an academic career in the field of brewing science.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,000 with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers** and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career. 

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

** The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.

 
 
 

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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The University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Lougborough
LE12 5RD
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